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Dev Discussion #31 - Environments



  • LoganLogan Member
    edited June 2021
    For me, it's all about a nice and long music loop, preferably pertinent, for each zone. If a zone I'm questing in for 8 hours has a 3 minute song that loops in between large gaps of silence, I mute the game, switch to autopilot, stop reading quests, and go into grind mode.
    Even if half of a 20 minute song is long chords like the slowed down jurassic park theme song, it's better than something short repeated into white noise.

    I also like 'go talk to' quests that unfold interpersonal or romantic relationships.
  • BotBot Member
    Realism is irrelevant to me. This is a video game that's supposed to exist within a fantasy world. As long as things are logical that's fine for me. What makes a game's environment stand out to me is a variety in distinctive areas of the map rather than everything just being a bunch of grasslands and deserts. TERA comes to mind as a game that did this very well. Every 10 levels you'd experience a completely different environment with unique mobs and scenery that were completely different from the last area. It creates distinctive memories of your experience rather than it just blurring into one big memory. In terms of NPCs it's nice for each region to have their own distinctive style. For example one town might be in a frozen wasteland where they're dressed head to toe in winter clothing while a tropical area has everyone wearing lighter gear with certain hallmarks such as maybe in the winter area everyone wears a scarf of some sort with the town's insignia on it.
    The key overall is to make the leveling experience memorable so months to years down the line when I'm capped out and haven't leveled in ages I can have a new player ask me about x location and I can recall specifically places and be able to give them specific details of an area for them to go to. For example, there might be a tropical town surrounded by a moat with lily pads you can cross throughout the area and a bridge to enter the town that you wouldn't find anywhere else in the game outside of that specific location. So when someone describes the area with those details I can immediately recall it.
  • EkinEkin Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2021
    I always hoped the environment would evolve through a fight or a siege. A meteor spell or a balista arrow should leave craters in the ground that becomes a new challenge in mobility. The trebuchet could leave rocks down the walls it hits (or on the ground, if aimed off-target) that are, once accumulated, also usable to climb to the top of the wall or slow down the attackers from the defender side. In a game where the action of players affect to development of a city, the dungeon appearance or the economy directly, I would love to see fighting skills and engine affecting the environment and the environment, the fighting.
  • colddrewcolddrew Member
    edited June 2021
    Something that really set the environment for me are NPCs walking around cities, towns, etc. that look similar to the players that are having a conversation or having a beer together in a tavern or tending to horses or whatever.

    What I mean by similar is that sometimes games make NPCs that just look nothing like the player characters and it makes me feel like "too special" if that makes sense. I want to feel like I just fit into the world.
  • ArukoruArukoru Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I feel like the game does a great job of seeming very lifelike, and I like the direction it is going personally. In general the things that feel lifelike are stuff like an oasis in a desert, streams in a valley, and roaring rivers in a jungle. A little water feature goes a long way.

    In terms of "realism" I think fantasy with a touch of realism is good, so magical mushrooms and glowing flowers fit just fine. Even though they aren't "realistic" it provides a semi grounded fantasy that has been so proven in things like Game of Thrones or The Witcher. The fantastical stuff is what makes RPGs special to me, locations you won't find in real life not just the ones that are difficult to get to.
  • Background crowed sound effects when lots of people are in a town or city, like FFXIV has
  • For me, I love what I am seeing so far.

    When I think of memorable environments I think of oh shit moments. How the environment impacts those.

    Usually running away from something much harder... it makes you pay attention to the environment more.

    Also the massive explore quest - There needs to be one. The go from point A to point B quest chain that sends you through the dunes of a desert, to a beach, to catch a ship, to a coast town that takes you close to a central city. Going through areas that are by design too hard for my level. Requiring a Power Level, mentor player to help, or the need to be very careful and run. I have not experienced game play like this in decades. It was hard, it was fun, and I remember every dune, every tree, and every puddle with crabs along the way. If i agroed them I died, and tried again. The environment is what made this memorable.

    Or the quests that are weather dependent, or day/night dependent. I loved having day only mobs, night only mobs. Those that only spawn in heat waves, or thunder storms. It adds to the mystery and rarity, and makes them fun.
  • RamirezRamirez Member
    edited June 2021
    Grihm wrote: »
    In 2002, Gothic 2 was released.

    NPC´s in that old game have jobs and a time for things they do.
    Guards stand guard, and at the end of their shift, they go to the pub and stand around ( as in drinking and talking )
    Shopkeepers have their shops open, then some head to the pub or home

    On it goes.

    Thing is, you could in 2002 see NPC´s living a somewhat realistic life in the game, and see them go from a job, to free time, to home and going to bed. You could even break in and actually see them being there, asleep. At morning at a certain time, they woke up, and went to work.

    Actual living NPC´s.

    The think is gothic is single player, you can pick Kingdome come deliverance to that npcs have homes and when they end the work or whatever then do they go home , cock, sleep do strange things, but people need to remember this is a multiplayer game npc cycles are really really heavy for them
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    What I would like to see, but tech may not be there yet, is for people and animals to have a life. By that I mean animals hunt, eat, sleep, play like real animals; people interact with other people and have their own "jobs" and personalities and they can develop attitudes toward you depending on different factors.
    Formerly T-Elf

  • Realism matters a lot to me, when I am enyoing a new fantasy world, I think of it as if its its own realm, with its own lore, so keeping to the cannon is very important. When something is referenceed to modern cultural fenomno, the emersion breaks down for me, and the whole world gets a scar in my eyes. When I play an mmo, I like to read everything, and get into my own stories as I progress, I want to be an explorer; finding adventure and going my own way. What I dont want is to be a super hero, saving the entire world. I just want my little house, see what behind the next rock and kill a dragon or two.
    - Sounds:
    When a PCs form a crowd and the background noise changes to busy townsquare.
    Having an echo from loud sounds, or in small caves.
    A really good soothing sound of rain.
    The wheels on carts as they roll by.
    - Visuals:
    Birds, leaves russeling, branches on the ground, insects and fish.
    Wheather effects: rain, fog, snow,
    Stones that roll when you walk a steep path, or something heavy moves.
    NPC turning off and on lights.
    Npc enjoying their leisure time.
  • WesterWester Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2021
    This might be difficult to articulate but I love when an environment has weird or otherwise interesting characters that are not only unique but also plausible. This is especially cool if their story is reflected in the surrounding environment visually and/or through the dialogue of other NPCs. I'm sure there are much better examples if I thought longer but Interrogator Vishas comes to mind from the Scarlet Monastery in WoW. He famously exclaims "I'll rip the secrets from your flesh!" when engaged in combat and it makes you immediately contemplate who he is, what role he plays in the Scarlet Crusade, and whether or not he represents the organization more honestly than others might be letting on. After killing him, all the little details of the room, and the entire zone really, become that much more relevant/interesting.

    And it doesn't have to be just named NPCs that can make a zone more interesting in this way. I always loved how in the Deserts of Ro of Everquest 1 there were "mad men" roaming the zone. It's something that I never would have thought of personally but it made total sense that you might encounter a hostile, crazed man wandering the expanse of a desert and, as such, it made the zone that much more memorable and immersive.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    For me, i think the big thing that makes an environment believable is me being able to interact with it and it reacting to me. The best example of the top of my head is BDO where instead of just jumping on top of a fence/wall, your character climbs over it. You can also do things like lean against objects like trees and walls.
  • NyxxaNyxxa Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The first thing that comes to mind for me and many games cant seem to pull off, but when they do I'm amazed and sometimes end up in a trance for an hour or more looking at it while thinking, is movement of cloth, hair, trees, grass, and more. Be it that movement is made by wind/gusts or from a players movement or interaction with it.

    I am someone that if my long hair doesnt move when I do then I end up having to change it to a ponytail just to see movement in games otherwise my immersion is broken.

    The next big one for me is horse running animations. Horses are my favorite animal and has been since I was a little kid, and just by how a horse moves in a game can kill a game for me. And it surprises me so much that so many games cant get it right even though they have been in use for thousands of years on earth.
  • DmhofmaDmhofma Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This might be kinda small, but I think lighting effects like sunsets and getting different vibes from different zones is a big thing for me, chilling in a zone with the sun setting behind me glinting off my armor would really put me in the game for a few minutes and let me feel immersed.
  • FuryniFuryni Member
    edited June 2021
    I agree with most things said up untill now, but one thing I saw in a past video showcase (i think it was the combat one), was when Steve started fighting those musbrooms and he approached one and was like "Oh no, not that one that's a deathcap", leading me to believe that if somebody is not careful and not paying attention to the mobs and his surroundings, it could and should (imo) lead to costly mistakes being made.
    At first glance, it looked just like any other mushroom mob, but because he saw the traits/ differences compared to other ones, he identified it as a higher threat and chose not to fight it.
    I also believe ghat mobs shouldn't exist just too exist, even when excluding the players, it should be a world full of life, in each area we shpuld be able too identify the predators and the pray, not just a random assortment of mobs, and i think that should be taken in consideration.

    If possible, clues should also be given when searching for different species, seeing footprints in the direction I am heading could alert me of the direction of a mob i would like to avoid/track.
    I dont even know if some of these are possible, but i am already liking the way you guys are heading either way!

    But, too cut it short, similarly to my comment in the crafting post, it should feel like its day/night/dusk/dawn, summer/winter/spring/fall, in a cave, at a market, in a forest, in danger, peacefull, maybe too peacefull and you figure out something is wrong, at the open sea, at a chase etc etc, and I believe that having the environment feel lived, together with the sound and image blending together into a beautiful result.
  • RintaRinta Member
    edited June 2021
    To me personally, realism is tightly coupled with immersion.

    If I feel especially immersed - it is most likely due to a certain incredibly realistic impression.
    If I lost my feeling of immersion - it is most likely due to some sort of lack of realism.

    Naturally, some bits of realism are more important to me than other, and some are completely ignorable.

    Here's my comment in the old Dev Discussion #22 about Immersion, which, while mostly focusing on PvE / NPC part of the game - fits this thread just as well.

    After reading other comments, I would like to add to it more environmental realism/immersion triggers:

    Shaders - probably most important part of visual realism. Someone already posted screenshots from Valheim - while the game textures are rather simplistic, the way the light disperses in the air makes everything look amazingly realistic and immersive. Another good example would be Minecraft shaders turning rather bland looking cube game into this:
    10/10, would push cubes again :smile:

    Ambient Sounds - not too invasive, not too repetitive ambient sounds of the environment.
    Birds and insects in forests and fields (different ones in different areas), shifting sands in the desert, crackling ice on the icy lake, creaking wood of growing trees, sound of occasional pine cone hitting the ground or invisible squirrel rustling in the underbush, chirping crickets in summer heat... We won't notice them unless we stop and listen, but it will feel so real, and we won't even know why. The more effort is put into these - the more immersive the space becomes.

    Bonus points for:

    Moon(s) Phases - I assume that just like in any other modern 3D game there's going to be a sky box with sun and clouds, weather changes and a day/night cycle, but seeing a giant full moon every night gets old very fast.

    More Empty Space - not every hill needs to be a home to some monsters or NPCs. Sometimes a grass field full of flowers is just a grass field full of flowers, where you can go and have a picnic undisturbed, accompanied by ambient birds and bees, and completely devoid of Human-Eating Seagulls and Bloodsucking Mutant Bees. Sometimes an empty castle ruin is actually empty. It actually feels unrealistic if every square decameter is populated by something or someone.

    Elevation - in many games, mountains are either slightly glorified hills, or not actually walkable. Compare for example to Skyrim where you can literally...

    Or at least some humble ups and downs of BDO's Drieghan region:


    Footprints - player character's footprints in the snow, the sand, the mud, etc. Even more bonus points for the same being applied to other player characters, NPCs and monsters. Can be automatically disabled when there's too many footprint bearing entities, although might be better to imprint every 10-100th step, or some other simplifying solution. Every little bit counts.
  • SpudzSpudz Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    What really brings the world to life for me, in unique environments and pathings (both 'on the path' and 'off the beaten path' so to speak). For example, a tree that creates a bridge across a gorge/canyon, the branches of larges trees providing a unique pathway or platforming-like option to traverse.

    I also think terrain which varies in elevation is great. Though it needs to be functional, e.g. if a mountain is unscalable it needs have a purpose of genuinely separating two areas, not just taking up space where players can't access. I think this creates consequences for players to consider, do I jump/fall down knowing it could take a while to get back up/take damage.

    Realism itself doesn't matter too much to me, I'm impartial about it. Though a world that is cookie cutter, the same things being recycled time and time again get stale (excessive recycling, not reasonable amounts for continuity of say races/architecture).

  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The soundscape is a huge one for me. The buzzing from a fat, lazy fly, the sound of the wind in the trees, the rodent rustling the leaves. The sound of a foot step in creaky snow or wading through water or mud. On their own some of them may seem insignificant, but put together they make such a huge difference.

    To put it in a nutshell: If it moves in Verra, it should also make a sound. No exceptions. Possibly many sounds at once.

    It may be subtle and you have to be close to hear it, but it needs to be there to be realistic and immersive. It really makes a difference.
  • SunScriptSunScript Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2021
    Immersion in an MMO is make or break for me. Without it, I'm just swinging a sword around until I get bored and drift off.
    Here's a few things I noticed that help with immersion:

    1. Weather patterns that make sense for their biome. I feel much more like I'm living in the world when I get caught in a dustorm and the dust blows around me almost convincing my brain I can smell it. Good visual and sound design can go a long way.

    2. Giving players reasons to become sensitive to weather/seasons, beyond the aesthetic. I come from FFXI where the weather and day of the week had effects on crafting, combat, spells etc. Certain seasons made certain types of weather more likely. The beauty of it all was that even if you tried to ignore all of this, you still ended up attuned to it and thus more immersed. Thunderstorm weather would spawn Thunder Elementals which you had to avoid, their loot was important to crafting etc. You ended up having an innate feeling of the seasons based on how hard it was to come across certain crafting materials and the obstacles it created around you.

    3. Carefully thought out limits on crafting material amounts. When a player doesn't easily get an abundance of crafting materials, they're forced to either go gather and hunt for more, or organize and get involved in supply chains and auction houses. Both of these are forms of immersion that come from a need for materials. In the first case you're gaining an understanding of where things grow, which mobs you can steal cloth from, where you can find the bandits with the swords you can melt down etc. In the second case it makes you more involved in the goings on of settlements, caravans and their general flow.

    4. Good NPC dialogue/sound design that doesn't get stale when repeated. Let's face it, no matter how creative and diverse NPCs are, eventually their lines are going to repeat or return to a default line. But there's ways you can make that work.
    - a bad example is having an NPC repeating "I can't find my cat" or "have you seen my dog?" especially if you don't get the option to help them in any way
    - a better example would be something like "Today is a great day for potatoes!". They'll keep repeating that and you will conclude it's always a great day for potatoes. That just works.

    5. Making it clear that NPCs have lives outside of selling you arrows and giving you quests and that the world keeps going even without you. This can be achieved through lots of small things, like having migrating NPCs, dialogue lines that give you tiny snippets into their lives, and meeting NPCs somewhere outside town who may be hunting creatures too.

    6. NPC quests making it reasonable and clear why the player is being given a quest and not because you're the Chosen Hero. Maybe you're the only Cleric in the little town, maybe they have come to trust you personally, maybe no one else was available, maybe they need all the help, or maybe they're testing you to see if they can entrust you with more.

    7. Being gently reminded we're not all just murder-hobos all the time. I played Neverwinter Nights on the PC a long time ago and whenever I ran around the town at full speed, weapons in hand, the townsfolk would get scared, worried or grumpy. It made the world a little more realistic.

    8. Related to the above, allowing for and encouraging moments of break within the game. You finally made it to the top of the mountain and you have a backlog full of quests to do, but you can stop for a few moments to admire the sunset. You're just walking around town and don't feel like being in that uncomfortable metal armor. It's time to wear casual clothes for a bit and check the local tavern.
    Its often the little things that most contribute to immersion.

    Apologies for the wall of text! Tried to keep it organized at least.
    Bow before the Emperor and your lives shall be spared. Refuse to bow and your lives shall be speared.
  • If there are trees or bushes with flowers or fruit, I should be able to harvest or collect them. I hate walking into a field of flowers and there is nothing to gather. Which in connection other resources should follow the same thing. Ore and mining locations should be in or against mountains, I should enter a cave and find ore, roots, bugs. If I'm going through a thick forest I should find seedlings, moss, forgeable plants, and hunting game. And if I am able to climb a mountain there should be something to collect or do at the peak. Now I don't mind rare resources being in unique locations, but the common ones definitely should be in places you expect.

    Immersion with resource harvesting also helps. Aka you cut a tree it falls over, you harvest a plant the flower disappears from the plant. You catch a fish, it's shadows leaves the water. You skin an animal it turns into meat. You sow plants and the crop grows.

    Granted a fantasy would is unique and different, but these basic ties to what we already know should be the base that you then add flavor on top of to create a better/immersive rpg environment.
    ✦ Concept Artist who enjoys MMORPG's ✦
  • FlokiiFlokii Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Biomes unique features like Sounds or Ambient creatures like birds/insects/rats/squirrels but they provide really low level crafting reagents.
  • The unique background sound effects actually matters a lot which I highly recommend
  • GrihmGrihm Member
    Ramirez wrote: »
    Grihm wrote: »
    In 2002, Gothic 2 was released.

    NPC´s in that old game have jobs and a time for things they do.
    Guards stand guard, and at the end of their shift, they go to the pub and stand around ( as in drinking and talking )
    Shopkeepers have their shops open, then some head to the pub or home

    On it goes.

    Thing is, you could in 2002 see NPC´s living a somewhat realistic life in the game, and see them go from a job, to free time, to home and going to bed. You could even break in and actually see them being there, asleep. At morning at a certain time, they woke up, and went to work.

    Actual living NPC´s.

    The think is gothic is single player, you can pick Kingdome come deliverance to that npcs have homes and when they end the work or whatever then do they go home , cock, sleep do strange things, but people need to remember this is a multiplayer game npc cycles are really really heavy for them

    I don´t think it matters if it´s an MMO or a single player game.
    In an MMO, we have all kinds of NPC´s, but no matter what, they generally stay in one location or walk in-between two. Really don´t think a scheduled list of things to do would be much of a problem. You just set what timezone they should go by, and depending on when you play, you will see this or that.
  • Hiya friends! <3 thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts in this thread, including all of the tiny little details that can make a game world feel more immersive and lifelike!

    After reading through your comments, we've updated the original post here with a quick summary of some of the main feedback you shared!

    Please feel free to keep expanding on this topic here, and we're excited to see ya around for our next Dev Discussion on guilds!
  • In "Conan Exiles" (a 3rd-Person survival RPG); in the desert biome (with sandy dunes) - The wind blows which seems to cause the sand to collect deeper in areas and give the appearance of curving around structures, boulders, trees and other terrain.

    Also; when the character model walks through the sand, their feet disappear up to their ankles and leaves a snaking trail, cutting through the sand which slowly disappears as the wind blows the trail away.

    Feels really satisfying to trudge through sand and snow like this and see your path effecting the environment.

    Steven Sharif is my James Halliday (Anorak)


    “That is not dead which can eternal lie,
    And with strange aeons even death may die.”

  • I would love if the environment will integrate with the player mechanic's, if I'm playing a shadowmancer and I'm exploring some caves i need to have a benefit from it.

    If I'm playing a water mage i should have benefit s like walk on water or something like it.

    If I'm playing a paladin i should gain benefits from daylight and so on..

    Really create systems and mechanics that use the environment and affect the player's skills.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2021
    Roaming mobs. Nothing feels unrealistic to me more than tethered mobs. FFXI did this best. They have a natural spawn area but are free to roam quite a bit. AoC doesn't have the advantage of zone lines, but the current tethering system leaves a lot to be desired. We need a large range of roaming to make the ecology feel more natural.
  • I don't care too much about realism.

    However, I like the environment when there is a day/night cycle, when there is music that matches every individual zone in the game, when the enemies match the story of the area, when the unique biomes have unique map layouts that do not copy others, and when there is a good amount of dead space compared to used space.

    Day and night cycles are just nice because they give you the illusion of changing time. Even if the time isn't the same as in reality or even close to it.

    The music to match the zone gives you a nice feel for which zone you are in. So even if you make mistakes in making some zones a little too similar then at least the sound design can save it a little. Also breaks up the music a little so you aren't listening to the same couple songs on loop for hours.

    Enemies do not have to match the climate of the area. It's different from matching the climate to matching the story. You can put some zones to war against other zones by default and have creatures venture outside of their normal home territories. So as long as there is a reason behind the locations of most killing target npcs then I'm not going to question it. I'd still like for there to be enough to match the climate that I can tell which climate the area is supposed to be though. xD You can more or less do the same for any other kind of npcs. No one is going to care if the same npc is copied multiple times throughout the game if it gives the illusion that they travel to certain areas and give you quests provided you meet the prerequisites to do so. As long as you don't overuse the same npcs too much.

    A mistake Skyrim made was that it made too many of their dungeons look the same. It really destroyed the feel of the game compared to past entries even though some of them don't do it too much differently. Oblivion just did it different enough to where I can tell which cave I'm in out of the 20 other caves on the map. It's important though that the tile sets a ice biome uses is different than one a tropical biome would use. Also important that you tailor make each dungeon map so that it has it's own unique experience. Even though this is an MMO and not a single player rpg there are things you can take from rpgs that have maps and content as big as elder scrolls. Their successes and failures can translate to a MMO as long as you keep all of the extra features of an MMO in mind when doing so.

    Dead space is a feature MMOs have over any other kind of rpg. You don't have to jam pack the map full of content and just having unique doodads in locations where there are no quests or monsters can be a nice reward for exploring the map. Explorer players really love to just scour the map and find cool things so I would recommend doing so. I would even reference how WoW did it throughout the years because it is probably the best thing that MMO had going. WoW probably had over 500 000 references in the game. All can be found in some rendition of the game whether it be classic or retail. These kinds of things add flavor to the game over time and make it feel worth taking part in even if the game lacks in other areas.

    There is one last thing as well to watch out for. Do not make areas specifically for every quest in the game. It would be better to build the quests around things that already exist out in the world than to tailor every single quest to an area. It makes the game feel unnatural and it's a mistake WoW did since Cataclysm. I would rather have a hard time finishing the quests than for the quests all to take place in very limited boxes throughout the game. Like if you look at WoW maps you will see that each one is divided by what quests are where. So instead of feeling like an open world it makes it feel too guided instead. The reason Classic WoW does not do this is because the quests took longer and were bigger quests than what is in the game now. The area quests could be completed in Classic span much more of the map. So it leads to natural encounters with other players because eventually you are more likely to see players doing the same quests as you.

    U.S. East
  • I enjoy small area weather effects to enhance my immersive experience....for instance: a short rain shower, preceded by darkening clouds, approaching thunder and lightning, first gentle raindrops leading into a hard downpour...five minutes or so of that and gradually resuming to the normal weather effects for that geographic area. Rain, hail, snow, dust storms, wind effects, etc. that change for small areas/short timing cycles are really cool.
  • Juicy DubsJuicy Dubs Member
    edited July 2021
    • What are some of the elements that make for a more “realistic” or “lifelike” world when you play a game, from NPCs to environments and beyond?
    Aside from those already recapped, having environments with multiple levels and elevation, including fall damage. While Final Fantasy does have fall damage that will always leave you at 1 HP remaining, I feel a bit more excitement and danger testing how far one can fall before dying and knowing that I can't takes a bit of the fun out of this exploratory aspect of MMORPGs. While you can still die if you are being chased by an enemy, or immediately gain aggro upon landing and lose your remaining 1 HP, games which implemented this sense of realism have always intrigued me.

    Theatric lighting effects. Without going so far in-depth with this topic to discussing graphics cards and realism, lighting effects play a MONUMENTAL role in my immersion and enjoyment of environments. I would very much LOVE to see dungeons that are considerably dark, nights that FEEL like night and having limited visibility, and perhaps even additional preparations required in order to better facilitate the dungeon dive such as torches or light-based spell effects. To implement this in a way that doesn't become overly burdensome, these types of items might be easy to come by and obtainable or cast/enchanted by nearby NPCs or mechanics found within the dungeon itself. While these instances would be situational and not required in every dungeon, they would be quite amazing when encountered and designed to provide impact. For contrast, the opposite of this that completely ruins the immersive experience for me is going further and further underground (let's say Skyrim) where the creatures are blind, but upon fiding them you discover that there are already torches along every wall or nonsense light sources around creatures which have no need for them.

    In regards to creatures, having preferences for certain environments and terrain as well as being nocturnal is noticed and appreciated as well. It's one thing to have a generic bear as an enemy mob on grassy plains, but if bears were more exclusive to densely forrested areas (snow or otherwise) that is something that also contributes to very enjoyable immersion. I would hope to expect that upon entering a forest that there would be some danger of forest-type animals and monsters. It's almost expected, and disappointing when it turns out that it's just not a thing that can happen. It can also be very immersion-breaking to see a bear roaming a desert, for example, being a recolored / renamed version of a previous enemy named after the zone while not fitting naturally into the environment without lore-relevant reasons that they would be there.

    While I'm eating up every additional Twitch stream, and got a kick out of the story-telling of how both the Spiders' design as well as the animation were introduced by one person, the point where those significantly large spiders became visible just seemed a bit out of place and quite drastic for the quest itself. I would have expected as a starter-quest that the spiders would be quite tiny but numerous, while the larger spiders I saw in the stream would more likely be found in caves, in dungeons, or almost exclusively at night.
    • How much does realism matter to you generally?
    While I admire realism (even within fantasy settings) to a very high degree, its important in an MMORPG admittedly comes secondary to most other things. I'd love for there to be a significant consideration to realism, but it needn't be so enforced that a "giant spider world boss" can't be found roaming the desert in the middle of the day searching for prey. I'd just like there to be a bit of story for why a seemingly out-of-place event may be happening. It doesn't have to make literal sense in an ultra-realistic way, it just has to make sense within the world and the story where the fantasy is. :)
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